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Perinatal mental illness has a significant impact not only on the sufferer, but also on their family. This can be of particular concern for rapidly developing infants in the absence of other carers able to provide the quality emotional contact every infant needs. Advances in neurosciences, the importance of early neural developments and research on how this is very much interdependent on parental mental health has led to a current drive to ensure that the perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) is a public health priority.

The following Champions programmes have been developed by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), with the aim of delivering perinatal mental health training to either health visiting or multi-agency audiences. The training provides the background and evidence to underpin a robust knowledge of perinatal mental health and illness for those for those who work with mothers and their families in the perinatal period, in order to become an advocate and a resource for perinatal and infant mental health locally.

What is the Champions model of training?

The Champion role is not just about providing a training cascade, it is also about leadership and advocacy for the subject. Champions are intended to:

  • Become an ambassador for perinatal and infant mental health within their local area
  • Become involved in developing and progressing integrated perinatal and infant mental health care pathways in their area
  • Act as a central resource to colleagues around perinatal and mental health concerns
  • Empower colleagues to raise parity of esteem for perinatal and infant mental health
  • Promote evidence-based practice at all levels

The Champions model is excellent for growing the capacity of a workforce to meet its own needs for training, and supports sustainability of the workforce expertise in this area.

We train individuals to become Champions, who can then provide a cascade of training to their colleagues. Using this model ensures that the importance of PIMH is recognised by everyone and that the issue remains high on the agenda of key professions.

We recommend a ratio of 1 Champion per 50 staff to be trained via the cascade, and that the Champions provide the cascade training in carefully selected pairs (i.e. 2 champions: 100 staff to be trained). The cascade will see the Champion pairs providing the training to their colleagues, in cohorts of up to 20 colleagues at a time.


Attributes of a Champion

Attributes of a Champion include:

  • Having a passion or interest in perinatal and infant mental health
  • Being a good communicator
  • Having the confidence to train others from a lesson plan and resources. Does not necessarily need a formal teaching qualification but experience of providing teaching to groups of colleagues
  • Being organised and able to evidence delivery of group events on a regular schedule around their current workload
  • Having support of their employer to undertake the role to maximise impact, and opportunity to improve outcomes for women and their families perinatally.


Multi-agency training

An integrated training approach through multi-agency training is central to the future of coordinated and integrated perinatal care. Champions derived from professions and agencies working across the perinatal journey supports a depth of learning brought about through rich discussion leading to greater recognition of roles. The Champions are equipped to deliver a multi-agency cascade in their local area further strengthening joint working.

Talk to us about multi-agency delivery – the Champions programmes have been successfully delivered across professions and agencies and could be suited to participant pairs drawn from:

  • mental health medical, nursing and allied health professionals;
  • obstetric and midwifery teams, including specialist PIMH midwives;
  • health visitors, including specialist PIMH health visitors;
  • general practitioners and practice nurses;
  • social care – social workers and family support workers;
  • early years and children’s centre staff;
  • voluntary groups working locally to support families.

PIMH Champions Training options


Multi-Agency Perinatal Mental Health Champions Training

Aim of Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Champions training: The programme is designed to build advocacy for perinatal mental health amongst a multi-agency audience, developing an understanding of the evidence around PMH and equipping the Champion with materials to deliver a cascade of multi-agency PMH Awareness level training for colleagues. Having a multi-agency focus, the training

2 Days

Multi-Agency Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Champions Training

Aim of Multi-Agency Perinatal & Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Champions training: The programme is designed for a multi-agency audience, to build advocacy for both perinatal and infant mental health, making a clear link between infant and parental mental health through developing an understanding of the evidence around PIMH. The training addresses the fundamental requirements that

2 Days

Multi-Agency | Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Champions Training for Individuals

This is an opportunity to book a place on our hosted training event which provides an opportunity for individual practitioners to complete our programme. Our multi-agency Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Champions training programme is designed to improve family mental health by: increasing competence and confidence in perinatal and infant mental health practice developing place-based

2 Days
Individuals within Multi-Agency

Multi-Agency | Fathers & Perinatal Mental Health Champions Training Programme

We are delighted this event will be co-delivered by Kieran Anders, Project Manager of Dad Matters, and a nationally respected voice in this important area of mental health – The new online delivery format models our highly acclaimed face-to-face programme for PIMH and will equip Champions with the necessary understanding, knowledge and competence to

1 Day